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Apples falling from the sky in England


Andrea Stockton, staff writer
December 15, 2011 — Apples fell from the sky over Coventry Monday, leaving residents scratching their heads and wondering what weird weather event could have caused it. The simulation played in the video below gives you an idea of what may have happened.


Drivers wondered where the apples came from Monday night
Drivers wondered where the apples came from Monday night

It was described as an avalanche of apples as more than 100 of them rained down over a main road in Keresley, Coventry on Monday night.

Motorists were forced to swerve and brake to avoid any damage from the falling fruit. Still, some windshields were smashed as the apples littered the street just after rush hour.

Most drivers were left stunned and thought maybe the apples fell from a plane or were tossed by witches that have spooked the area for centuries. Others figured it was just a prank, but officials from the British Weather Services said it's possible the apples were scooped up by a tornado.

“Weird, wild and wacky weather has happened before and of course we always have to guard against the prankishness of maybe teenagers or possibly a truck that spilled the apples around and they got distributed,” says David Phillips, Senior Climatologist with Environment Canada. “But I think if you delve down into it, there's certainly a meteorological explanation.”

While tornadoes at this time of year seem odd, Phillips says it's actually quite common in England.

“They're typically much smaller than you'd see in Canada, but they are legitimate twisters and they can pick up objects from one area and drop them on somebody in another area and people might think, 'my gosh, the sky is falling.'”

Objects can get scooped up in localized wind events
Objects can get scooped up in localized wind events

Often if there is a truth behind a falling object, it's in a very localized wind, mini-tornado, dust devil, or water spout. It's a whirlwind of something that could pick up creatures or objects and carry them along.

Then as the system dies down and the winds get lighter, these objects fall in a strange territory, adds Phillips.

“I've seen some strange things happen from the weather. Things like hay and straw being blown around and falling over a particular area that was not an agricultural area. I've seen strong winds that have picked up rocks and threw them great distances away, causing damage...It's very entertaining, but also quite meteorologically plausible to see objects falling from the sky. ”

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